Security Council briefed on successes remaining challenges of UN in Kosovo

“The successes are evident – reconstruction of basic infrastructure, restarting of services for the public such as schools, health care and pensions, provision of basic civil documents, a growing professional local police and judiciary, three successful elections and the establishment of municipal and central level self-government bodies,” Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi told the Council, which met to consider the situation in Kosovo.In his open briefing, Mr. Annabi noted the remaining challenges, including freedom of movement, meaningful minority participation and the return of displaced minorities to Kosovo. The development of local bodies and dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is also a major concern, he added.”The fact that we still have some way to go was highlighted in the most horrific way recently – with the tragic murder of three Kosovo Serb residents in Obilic Municipality on 4 June,” Mr. Annabi said of the 80-year-old man, his 78-year-old wife and their 53-year-old son who were beaten to death with a blunt instrument.He said the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) had taken a number of concrete steps to find and bring to justice the perpetrators of that heinous crime. Representatives of Kosovo’s Provisional Institutions – Assembly, Government and President, and Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb political leaders had also condemned the murders and additional security measures had subsequently been put in place, including police patrols.Though UNMIK has seen many successes in Kosovo in the last four years, political pressure on the mission has increased, with attempts to challenge its role, Mr. Annabi noted. The Provisional Institutions, particularly the Kosovo Assembly, have overstepped their competencies on a number of occasions. Listen to UN Radio report